A BRIEF HISTORY OF POLO (PART 2)

The Players
Each player is assigned a numbered position with particular responsibilities. Number One is one of the most difficult to play which is usually filled by a novice in anticipation, determination, and self-control, to be responsible for scoring goals and neutralizing the opposing Number Four (defensive player). Number Two is the “hustler” or “scrambler,” who needs extremely maneuverable, fast ponies, a keen eye, and an aggressive nature to scrap for the ball. Number Three, who plays quarterback, is the tactical leader who must play 2 roles at the same time both a powerful hitter to feed balls up to Number One and Number Two, and a solid defense. Number Four is primarily a defensive player, whose main function is to prevent scoring.

Polo Ponies
The pony is an important element contribute 60 to 75 percent of a player’s success. Initially, only Thoroughbreds were used, but mixed breeding are now common.
Of which, the mount is a full-sized horse and should have docility, speed, endurance, and intelligence.
Argentina or in the Southwestern or Rocky Mountain regions of the United States raised some of the best ponies with a training period begins at about age five last from 6 months to 2 years depending on each breed. Ponies reach their peak at about age 9 or 10 and may play until age 18 or 20.

Handicaps
Each player is rated from 0 to 10 based on horsemanship, hitting ability, knowledge of the game, quality of horses, and sportsmanship with minus ratings such as -1 and -2 are applied.

Indoor Polo
The indoor game was introduced and becomes popular in the United States, especially in winter. A team has three players instead of four plays in the field of 100 yards long and 50 yards wide, with wooden boards to keep the ball in the field. The ball is made of inflatable leather, 4 1/2 inches in diameter and weighing approximately 6 ounces. The indoor game is basically the same as the outdoor, except for some minor rule changes.